The Guilford County Sheriff’s Department is looking for a few good men. 

Well, actually, the department is looking for a whole lot of good men and good women – and, in this economic environment when it’s hard to find good help in many fields, it’s particularly difficult to find those who can undergo a rigorous background check and take a dangerous job that’s often thankless.

The Guilford County Sheriff’s Department, which has been facing vacancies for years, has now turned to a direct mail campaign to find good applicants.  County residents have likely received a mailer stating in big font “Consider a CAREER with [the] Guilford County SHERIFF’S OFFICE.”

It shows some happy deputies on the front and, inside, it touts the perks of the job.

Guilford County Sheriff Danny Rogers recently addressed the Guilford County Board of Commissioners on the vacancy problem.  In that report, the sheriff stated that COVID-19 infections had exacerbated the shortage of patrol officers and detention officers, since they had to stay home after testing positive.

In recent years, the county has attempted a number of strategies to fill the vacancies – things like social media campaigns, signing bonuses, recruitment fairs and youth programs that help steer youngsters into the profession. 

However, the problem has been persistent for the past decade.  One reason is that local law enforcement agencies have hired deputies away from the department for more pay.  Another concern is that, especially in recent years, law enforcement officers have been frequently criticized and they often become the target of abusive comments and actions. That means some people have no desire to go into the profession.

The new mailer lists the rigorous requirements candidates must meet, and also lists the benefits of the job such as life, health, vision and dental insurance, paid vacations, military leave, educational reimbursement, state retirement benefits and 401(k) plans.

The pay starts at $38,750 – more for those with college degrees and advanced degrees – and starting pay for those with certified experience is more.  With 15 years of experience, for example, the salary starts at over $54,000 a year.

There are other pay perks as well, such as bonus pay for officers who are fluent in Spanish.